The Big Fit Walk campaign runs throughout June
A Scottish charity is inviting everyone to give walking with a friendly group a go this summer as it launched its latest campaign in South Ayrshire in conjunction with the Council.
The Big Fit Walk, an annual event from Paths for All, sees hundreds of 30-minute walks take place across the country throughout June to bring people together and celebrate the benefits of being active.
Now in its 16th year, the campaign calls on all ages and abilities to organise a walk or join one in their community to enjoy fresh air, a walk and a chat.
The charity hopes that this year's theme – Bring a Friend Then Make A Few More – will inspire people to not only be part of the Big Fit Walk but to join one of its 550 Health Walks that run all year round.
The Big Fit Walk 2019 was launched by Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing in Ayr today (24 May).
He was joined by young sporting stars Cerys McCrindle and Jack Dickson, and more than 100 walkers, including Councillors and staff from South Ayrshire Council, and other walkers involved a range of South Ayrshire health initiatives.
Mr FitzPatrick said: "I'm delighted to launch Paths for All's Big Fit Walk campaign for 2019.
"Being as active as possible is great for our mental and physical health, and walking is one of the easiest and most accessible ways for many people to be active.
"The Big Fit Walk is a great opportunity to take part in a fun, social and free walk this June, and I'm sure it's going to be a great event."
Ian Findlay, Chief Officer at Paths for All said: "The Big Fit Walk is all about bringing people together to enjoy a walk in a fun and relaxed way.
"This year, we'd like the Big Fit Walk to be a way for everyone to sample how simple and enjoyable walking in a friendly group is and encourage everyone to walk regularly, for example by joining one of our weekly Health Walks.
"Walking is free, most people can do it and you don't need any special equipment to do it. Regular walking is still one of the best things you can do for your physical, mental and social health.
"If you love walking, why not introduce a friend to it this June? Everyone is welcome."
Paths for All, which promotes everyday walking for a happier, healthier Scotland, teamed up with South Ayrshire Council to launch this year's campaign. The charity works with a variety of partners from the area including Sustrans, Versus Arthritis, Dementia Friendly Prestwick and Macmillan Cancer Support who are helping get people more active.
Councillor Brian McGinley, Depute Leader at South Ayrshire Council said: "I am delighted that Paths for All chose to launch the Big Fit Walk in South Ayrshire this year. The Council is keen to promote the benefits of exercise and walking is a great way to get active and it can relax the mind too.
"We have fantastic scenery, historic sites and natural wonders across South Ayrshire and you don't need to walk very far to enjoy them, so I would encourage everyone to go for a healthy walk this June, explore and feel the health benefits too."
For all the tools you need to organise a Big Fit Walk or to join one already running, visit www.bigfitwalk.scot.
For locations of the 550 weekly Health Walks, visit www.pathsforall.org.uk/healthwalkfinder.